The road will be linking Somali Regional State with Oromia Regional State

Jul 13 , 2019

The Adama - Dire Dawa 357Km expressway project, the first highway to be constructed through a public-private partnership, is undergoing a bidding process to hire a consultant to conduct a feasibility study.

Six companies are vying to conduct a feasibility study for the planned expressway between Adama and Dire Dawa to be constructed under a public-private partnership arrangement.

The 357Km project is estimated to cost 1.2 billion dollars and is comprised of three lots: Adama-Awash, 125Km; Awash-Mieso, 72Km; and Mieso-Dire Dawa, 160Km that links Somali Regional State with Oromia Regional State.

For the first 60Km of the road, a feasibility study was already conducted with financing secured from the African Development Bank (AfDB). Bejing Expressway Supervision Co. Ltd was engaged to conduct the feasibility study in 2016. The Authority is in the process of hiring a contractor for the design and build project. This portion of the project does not fall under the PPP arrangement.

For the remaining 297Km, the Ethiopian Roads Authority is in the process of hiring a company to conduct the feasibility study of the project. The Authority kicked off a bidding process last March by requesting expressions of interest.

Companies with experience in design, design review and supervision of road construction within a PPP model, knowledge of operating and managing road concession projects, and with an annual turnover of four million dollars were approached by the Authority.

Out of 21 firms that showed interest, six were shortlisted to submit their proposals for the detailed feasibility study. The companies are expected to submit their proposals for the feasibility study, technical and financial offers on July 18, 2019.

The evaluation and selection process to qualify the firms will take up to two months, according to Getachew Yilma, PPP unit leader at the Authority.

The winning company is expected to submit a detailed feasibility study comprised of a concept design, economic and financial feasibility, market sounding, environmental and social impact assessment, a resettlement action plan and the preparation of procurement documents for a PPP modality. The company is also expected to deliver the study within nine months of the contract award.

For the expressway from Meiso-Dire Dawa-Dewele, Scott Wilson Group conducted a feasibility study in 2007. The feasibility study was updated last year by the Authority together with the PPP Directorate General under the Ministry of Finance and the International Financial Cooperation of the World Bank.

The Public-Private Partnership board, comprised of seven ministries and two representatives from the private sector, gave the green light for the development of seven hydropower and three solar projects. The hydropower projects are expected to generate 2,300MW of electricity, while the solar power projects will be generating 1,100MW of power.

Fekadu Gurmessa (PhD), an expert in the transport sector, has appreciated the shift from the conventional way of project implementation to the state's partnerships with the private sector.

As the roadway corridor is the main import-export outlet of the country and has a tremendous economic impact, the government's decision to construct the expressway with an experienced contractor is proper, according to Fekadu.

"The growing interest of international firms to participate in such mega projects indicate that they have developed confidence in the country," he said.

PUBLISHED ON Jul 13,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1002]

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